Bonum Certa Men Certa

Inside the Minds of Microsoft's Media Operatives — Part II — Justifying a Career as a Microsoft Mouthpiece That Destroys Lives of People With Actual Facts

Series parts:

  1. Inside the Minds of Microsoft's Media Operatives — Part I — Bishops in Rooks
  2. YOU ARE HERE ☞ Justifying a Career as a Microsoft Mouthpiece That Destroys Lives of People With Actual Facts

Peter Bright

Summary: Moral dissent or conscientious leanings aren't tolerated by Microsoft and its media operatives; diligent adherence to or insistence on facts are seen as an act of heresy and punished severely

A couple of decades ago I started to more properly understand how Microsoft had controlled the media. I started writing more and more about it. It was a combination of blackmail and bribes, mostly the latter. The bribes aren't as crude as one might expect ("here's $1000! Write nice things about us!"), and herein lies the 'art' of bribery, e.g. advertising contracts or "consulting" [PDF] ("consultants" and "analysts" are just glorified marketing people in Microsoft's eyes; often cited as experts by "the media"), invitation to events (flight tickets, hotel stays, "exclusives"), "gifts" for supposed (shallow and flattering) "reviews", job for a spouse (or for oneself later on [1, 2]), business "partnerships" and so on...

Maybe later in the series we'll expand on this. We already have examples accumulated and listed in our wiki pages, e.g. [1, 2]. But that's not the point, not today anyway...

This series concerns a Microsoft whistleblower who confronted Microsoft's media operatives, having witnessed journalistic misconduct and outright lies. While names are left out, people can connect the dots and de-anonymise a bit. It is not a huge deal, but nevertheless the key point is, we want to get the information out there...

As we noted in the first part, a Microsoft whistleblower was "burned" by a so-called 'publisher' that's in Microsoft's bag/pockets. In response, he recently explained to the person who had burned him/her: "Mistakes, oversights, and coincidences are a thing. Correlation doesn’t always equal causation. And omission doesn’t always equal bad intentions. And not all trends allude to anything substantial. But coincidences can become suspicions when they’re seemingly of great benefit to the preeminent monopoly of the Information Age and a reporter with questionable ethics while being a severe detriment to one of Microsoft’s only internal sources of dissent."

We've long spoken to and worked with dissenters inside Microsoft. Weeks ago, for instance, we said that Microsoft had stopped hiring. The media didn't mention it until this week!

Anyway, back to the whistleblower. He/she wrote: "Suspicions can also evolve into concerns when greenhorn reporters do things like quote me out of context without contacting me prior or reaching out for further comment. Dox me in a manner that oddly meets the minimum criteria to violate Microsoft’s media policy while minimizing Microsoft’s exposure. Not to mention ignoring me for years after various attempts at clarification; both at Geekwire and Monica."

"And concerns of bias and conflict tend to warrant further consideration upon realizing that the same greenhorn reporter got a rare, hour long town hall interview with Brad Smith/one of the primary benefactors of my removal from Microsoft, that most veterans would kill for."

"That said, I’m sure you’d agree with me when I say that journalists have a duty to take extra care of whistleblowers, many of whom are working double-duty, on a tight-rope, and against all odds which journalists of all people should be able to empathize with. I’m also sure that you’d agree with me when I say that immediate dismissals like mine are the logical consequence of reckless-malicious coverage of this sort. I’m quite certain that you didn't need me to write a rebuttal to your article about Kathleen Hogan, HR, and growth mindset either in order for you to see the plausibility in any of this. I’m also pretty sure that you can do math and realize and don’t need me to explain to you that this cost me millions in costing me my tech career. And I don’t think that you need me of all people to lecture you or point out the obvious problems in that article."

"Ultimately, what’s done is done. It was what it was. And is what it is. Since then, I’ve used my free time to improve on my writing and develop an organic albeit niche following by way of writing about Microsoft from the perspective of an internal employee during smoke breaks and/or happy hour. In fact, most of what I write about stems from internal conversations/vent sessions that I’ve had with friends/peers while working there; many of these conversations persist to this day."

This is how the person who burned the whistleblower attempted to defend himself or deflect from himself, by living in a state of denial, still lying about his supposed, so-called 'objectivity': "My work is out there for anyone to read and assess from 20 years of reporting on Microsoft. I do my best to be factual, fair, and skeptical. No doubt I've fallen short at times. Likewise, I don't see a lot of value in trying to change anyone's opinion of my reporting. I just hope that any conclusion is based on an adequate sample size."

He speaks of "20 years of reporting on Microsoft"; I've seen those 20 years of his in three sites (I've watched Microsoft news/noise closely for decades) and it was almost always just jingoism, intentional misinformation (disinformation/lying), coverup and marketing (even bagging Microsoft money, such as sponsorships for the "news" site [1, 2]).

It's like another Microsoft Peter, sans the arrest for pedophilia [1, 2]. That's Peter Bright, pictured above. He planted "stories" for Microsoft for nearly a decade while sexually abusing little children. Even his colleagues knew; did Microsoft miss it?

The whistleblower responded: "My work at Microsoft has been out in the wild for 12 or so years after helping architect and build Office 365; none of which would be possible for a high school dropout like me unless I was objective, shrewd, and as good as they come with statistics. I’ve also been studying media bias since this experience and have a few observations about it broadly speaking."

"It's like another Microsoft Peter, sans the arrest for pedophilia.""For example, it’s quite obvious that dissent and the ad revenue model are incompatible; propaganda pays while dissent will get you anywhere from fired to sued. And to no surprise, I can’t seem to find a lot of articles from ad rev outlets such as Geekwire that publishes indictments of Microsoft with anywhere near the consistency or veracity of their Microsoft fluff articles. Bias of this sort is often only obvious via statistical analyses and benefits Microsoft and other heavyweights in two ways: 1. by creating a never-ending news cycle that naturally buries scathing articles with neutral-fluffy articles and 2. by disproportionately amplifying a positive image that distracts from negative impacts while allowing them to worsen these positions; ultimately enabling them to do bad while appearing good; I’m sure there are other ancillary benefits though."

"Another odd bias can be found in the double-standard given to current employees vs. ex employees. For example, you probably receive and publish tons of positive press about Microsoft, its employees, and partners all the time without credibility issues. No one questions their credibility despite them being monetarily incentivized to tow the company line while running the risk being culled if they don’t or at least keep their mouths shut when they go “Ra ra Microsoft". Yet, when I publish articles or offer an opinion about Microsoft on matters completely unrelated to my firing and well within the realm of my extensive expertise, which begins and ends with Microsoft mind you, it’s often filed under the opinions of a disgruntled/bias ex-employee by default. And I have an uphill battle to offset this stigma despite my sentiment remaining the same during my employment and post-employment and my arguments rarely involving my experience with HR. Lots of whistleblowers have actually noticed and experienced this."

"When combining the two, extreme bias to the point of being a proxy for corporate PR isn’t much of a leap so much as it is the expectation. And it becomes even more compelling when you start factoring in profit/career motives, a complete lack of oversight, and seemingly non-existent protocols to actively prevent, identify, and remove conflicts from outlets. And I have yet to meet a legitimate journalist that would die on a hill in opposition of this sentiment. Most admit that they have to make ethical concessions for a paycheck just like the rest of us."

"They're like moles inside publishers or simply publishers that operate like Microsoft propaganda mills.""Every outlet maintains that they have integrity and operate without bias. None seem to believe this enough to turn an eDiscovery expert like me lose and tell me to me to prove them wrong though. None seem to want to show me protocols that they follow, instances of bias they’ve identified and addressed, or people that they’ve removed due observed bias and conflicts. In fact, the conversation about bias integrity seems to get real uncomfortable real quick for most reporters in ad revenue outlets and this is especially true whenever it isn’t presumed to exist by default; you just don’t make friends with journalists very often by questioning the biases and integrity that they’re quick to stand behind."

That should be enough for today, but there will be plenty more. We should certainly add that this pattern of Microsoft "interferences" disguised as journalism aren't limited to one or few people; there are many dozens of people who do this 24/7, not just in English. They're like moles inside publishers or simply publishers that operate like Microsoft propaganda mills. It's not journalism, it's not reporting, it's just marketing or Public Relations, to put it politely...

Therein lies their business model.

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